Monthly Archives: May 2019

Davis Love’s house on Georgia coast will not sell | North Salem Real Estate

davis-love-iii-house
realtor.com; Michael Reaves/Getty Images

All that glitters is gold when you’re talking about high-end real estate along the Atlantic Ocean. The Golden Isles are a chain of barrier islands sitting midway between Savannah, GA, and Jacksonville, FL.

If you’re unfamiliar with names like St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, and Brunswick, that’s because they’re hidden gems along Georgia’s oft-overlooked coastline.

The island chain offers just the right blend of notoriety and privacy and was tabbed last year as “The Secluded Island Hideaways for America’s Rich and Famous” by the Wall Street Journal. In addition to seclusion, the allure of these isles is intimately tied to golf. In fact, the golf tradition of the Golden Isles dates back at least a century.

With a backdrop of golf history and award-winning courses, it’s no surprise that pro golfers have snapped up homes in the Golden Isles.

Golf Hall of Famer Davis Love III is one such linksman. The 21-time PGA Tour winner owns a pristine plantation-style home on St. Simons Island.

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Love’s 5-acre spread is located in a private, serene neighborhood and includes a fully functioning farm. Known as Sinclair Farm, Love’s summery sanctuary is way, way above par.

It’s currently on the market for $4.48 million and eagerly awaits a buyer in search of a place with a golden reputation.

Aerial view
Aerial viewrealtor.com

There’s only one divot—the golfer’s home has been up for sale for sixlong years. We’ll spare you the albatross jokes.

In 2013, Love’s property landed on the market at a price of $5.5 million. So what’s the holdup? Why aren’t buyers swooning over Love’s beautiful island compound?

St. Simons Island offers the best of island life. The plantation-style house is gorgeous. The property is enormous and lush. We’re talking endless summer, twinkling stars on clear nights with fireflies flitting around. The beach right around the corner.

To dig in to the reasons, we spoke with a couple of local agents.

An abundance of options

On Sea Island and St. Simons Island, there are over 50 listings priced between $1 million and $14 million, according to Rhonda NeSmith, an agent with Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners.

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“People who can afford to buy in this price range have options,” she said. “This property is really nice and private, but a lot of people come to the area to be either in a golf community or on the water.”

Love’s secluded property is located in an area with only six other homes, and the street to reach the home is quite dark and winding, NeSmith said.

With an abundance of waterfront and golf course properties available, this lovely island spread might be … too remote?

Living space
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The listing mentions views of a marsh in the distance. NeSmith said “distance” is a bit of an understatement: “There’s a 50-acre property in between this one and the marsh, so there’s not much to see in that regard.”

However, the views of the sky are unparalleled. NeSmith told us, “I can guarantee the view of the night sky from this property is an amazing sight.”

Dining room
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The home is also competing with luxury homes on the other Golden Isles, and many of those options are gated, private islands for residents only.

New construction in the area also plays a role. Even though Love’s home is only two decades old, many high-end buyers want a place with no previous owners.

“This home was built in 1999,” said Maria Jennings, real estate agent with DeLoach Sotheby’s International Realty. “There’s a fair amount of new construction in the area. This presents some competition for this kind of home.”

The vacation vibe

Jennings told us the Golden Isles are a popular destination for vacationers, retirees, and owners of second homes.

Kitchen
Kitchenrealtor.com

“The island tends to attract retirees that want to downsize,” Jennings said. “They’re looking for something that’s easy to maintain, and this property requires a lot of upkeep.”

Five acres aren’t going to tend to themselves. And with a fully functioning farm, upkeep is a daily commitment, which runs counter to the idea of having a low-key retreat.

Vacationers, she said, are looking for something similar: a place to stay that requires little maintenance and has enough space to spread out and relax, but not so much that keeping things clean, tidy, and in working order takes the fun out of the experience.

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“The farm makes this property really unique, which is good, but it also narrows down the kind of buyer looking for this kind of home.”

You can’t hurry Love

For someone like Love, a native of the Golden Isles area and a professional athlete with presumably a sizable nest egg, selling the property quickly isn’t a top priority. He ranks among the top 20 money earners all-time in the world of professional golf, having pulled down nearly $45 million in career earnings.

“I tend to think he built this as his forever home, but obviously something changed,” says NeSmith. “Still, he probably doesn’t need to sell it for the money.”

The lack of urgency is reflected in the years the home has spent on the market and the relative lack of price cuts. The asking price was cut in 2015, 2017, and then again earlier this year to its present price.

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Poolrealtor.com

“The house is worth its current asking price,” said NeSmith. “So that’s not the issue here. The property is just really unique for the area.”

So what kind of buyer will fall in love with an island farm?

“It’s probably going to be someone middle-aged that’s relocating that wants to be close to the water but still have the farm feel,” said Jennings. “That’s a pretty unique buyer.” If you fit the very specific bill, Love is still waiting for you to take a swing.

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https://www.realtor.com/news/celebrity-real-estate/why-wont-anyone-buy-davis-love-iii-gorgeous-georgia-property/

Case Shiller prices up 2.7% annually | Waccabuc Real Estate

GS: New Home sales house for sale prospective buyers San Rafael Ca.

Real estate agents arrive at a brokers tour showing a house for sale in San Rafael, California.Getty Images

National home prices rose 3.7% annually in March, down from 3.9% in February, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index.

Prices had been seeing double-digit annual gains, but they are gone. The largest annual gain was 8.2% in Las Vegas; one year ago, Seattle had a 13% gain a year ago but has dropped dramatically to just 1.6%. The 20-City Composite dropped from 6.7% to 2.7% annual gains over the last year.

“Given the broader economic picture, housing should be doing better,” David Blitzer, managing director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, wrote in the report. He noted that mortgage rates and unemployment were low, along with low inflation and moderate increases in real incomes.

“Measures of household debt service do not reveal any problems and consumer sentiment surveys are upbeat. The difficulty facing housing may be too-high price increases,” he added.

The 10-City Composite rose 2.3% annually, down from 2.5% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite gained 2.7%, down from 3.0% in the previous month.

Even with today’s smaller gains, prices are still rising almost twice as fast as inflation. In the last 12 months, the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller National Index is up 3.7%, double the 1.9% inflation rate.

Prices are still higher annually in all of the 20 major cities measured by the indices, but some are getting very close to negative territory. Prices in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, San Diego and San Francisco are just over 1% higher than March 2018.

Las Vegas, Tampa and Phoenix are seeing the biggest gains. These were the markets hit hardest during the housing crash and therefore still have the farthest to go to fully recover.

Other housing indicators are also weaker than expected this year. Existing home sales have been relatively flat all spring, despite falling mortgage rates.

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https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/28/home-price-gains-weaken-yet-again-in-march-sp-case-shiller-index.html

New home sales fall | Cross River Real Estate

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell from near an 11-1/2-year high in April as prices rebounded, but demand for housing remains underpinned by declining mortgage rates and a strengthening labor market.FILE PHOTO: A new apartment building housing construction site is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The Commerce Department said on Thursday new home sales dropped 6.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000 units last month. March’s sales pace was revised up to 723,000 units, the highest level since October 2007, from the previously reported 692,000 units.

April’s decline followed three straight monthly increases

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 10% of housing market sales, would decrease 2.8% to a pace of 675,000 units in April.

Sales increased 7.0% from a year ago. The median new house price increased 8.8% from a year ago to $342,200 in April, the highest level since December 2017.

New home sales had in recent months outperformed other housing market indicators, including building permits, which had dropped for five straight months in April. New home sales are drawn from permits.

Economists attributed the recent strength in new home sales to declining mortgage rates. The new housing market has not been severely constrained by an inventory shortage, which has crippled sales of previously owned homes.

A report on Tuesday showed existing home sales fell for a second straight month in April, weighed down by a chronic shortage of more affordable houses.

The overall housing market hit a soft patch year and has contracted for five straight quarters. With the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping to around 4.07% from near an eight-year high of 4.94% in November, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic about the housing market.

New home sales in the South, which accounts for the bulk of transactions, declined 7.3% in April. Sales in the Midwest dropped 7.4% and those in the West tumbled 8.3%. But sales in the Northeast jumped 11.5%.

There were 332,000 new homes on the market last month, down 0.9% from March. While builders have stepped up construction of more affordable homes to meet strong demand in this market segment, land and labor shortages remain a challenge.

At April’s sales pace it would take 5.9 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, up from 5.6 months in March.

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-housing/u-s-new-home-sales-fall-more-than-expected-in-april-idUSKCN1ST1QP

Finding a deal in the Hamptons after tax reform | Waccabuc Real Estate

“We just loved it, and all our friends and family loved it,” said Mr. Nordquist, 51, a retired financier from Manhattan. “It had to be here, and it had to be now.”

David and Sindhu Nordquist deliberated for years about where to buy a second home, and thenlast summer, while renting a house in the Hamptons for the first time, they decided to find a place on the East End of Long Island to call their own.

With Timothy O’Connor, an agent at Halstead, the Nordquists looked at more than 60 listings, searching for “a beach house in the woods,” Mr. Nordquist said. “We wanted privacy and didn’t want neighbors around us.”

Their timing was fortunate. In the usually high-flying Hamptons, the housing market is in a rut. Inventory is up; prices are down. The median sale price of a single-family home in the Hamptons has dropped 7.9 percent, from $933,750 in the first quarter of 2018 to $860,000 during the first three months this year, according to a report from Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

After searching for several months, the Nordquists found the serenity they were looking for down a long gravel driveway: a 1991 contemporary home with 3,300 square feet, a heated pool and a pool house, on a woodsy 1.82 acres. Initially listed at $1.825 million in August 2017, the property went on and off the market. When the couple visited last December, the price had dropped to $1.6 million. They bought it this spring for $1.35 million, with plans to paint, change the windows and convert the wood-burning fireplaces to gas.David Nordquist at his new Hamptons home, which sits on 1.82 acres and has a heated pool and a pool house.CreditDaniel Gonzalez for The New York Times


“We negotiated pretty hard on the price,” Mr. Nordquist said. “I bargained a lot. I felt the market was softening.”

As Aspasia G. Comnas, the executive managing director of Brown Harris Stevens, observed, “Sellers in the Hamptons are used to the market always going up every year, and if they priced aggressively it didn’t matter.” But in today’s market, homes that are not priced competitively “are going to have to go through a series of price reductions” before they sell, she said — at all levels of the market, not just at the high end.

Buyers seem to be staying on the sidelines. The number of single-family homes on the market during the first three months of 2019 was nearly double that of a year earlier: 2,327, up from 1,201. And sales of single-family homes have dropped, to 287 from 350 in 2018.

One thing making buyers hesitate, said Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel and the author of the Douglas Elliman report, is the new federal tax code approved by Congress in late 2017, which makes it more expensive to own luxury property because homeowners can deduct only up to $10,000 in state and local taxes from their federal income taxes.

“The Hamptons are trending much like the New York City metro area,” Mr. Miller said, noting that the situation is similar in other parts of the Northeast and in California, where real estate is pricey and property taxes are high.

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Catch up and prep for the week ahead with this newsletter of the most important business insights, delivered Sundays.SIGN UPThe four-bedroom house in Water Mill that Keith Baltimore bought is an “upside-down” house, with living space on the upper level.CreditDaniel Gonzalez for The New York Times

















The four-bedroom house in Water Mill that Keith Baltimore bought is an “upside-down” house, with living space on the upper level.CreditDaniel Gonzalez for The New York Times

“The slowdown in sales represents the disconnect between sellers, who are anchored to better times, and buyers, who have a lot of changes to process,” Mr. Miller said.

Any sense of urgency was further quelled by the “intense volatility of the financial markets at the end of last year, along with the close linkage of Wall Street to the Hamptons,” he added.

A 17 percent dip in bonuses in the finance industry in 2018 likely also discouraged Wall Street workers from buying second homes in the Hamptons. The average bonus for financial market employees in 2017 was $184,400; in 2018, it dropped to $153,700, according to a report from the New York State Comptroller.

Those who did buy, though, found bargains.

Figuring it didn’t hurt to look, Maria and Stephen Zak, of Saddle River, N.J., toured a 2007 harbor-front house with four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, a heated pool and a hot tub, on an acre in East Hampton, listed for $3.2 million. “We loved it, but it was way out of our budget,” said Mr. Zak, 53, the chief financial officer of a boutique investment bank.

They had been looking for a second home for about a year. The price of the 3,400-square-foot house had already been reduced from the original 2017 asking price of $3.995 million. So “we threw out an offer we were comfortable with,” Mr. Zak said. And in November, the Zaks closed on the house, for $2.735 million.The bedrooms of Mr. Baltimore’s 1970s house are on the lower level. CreditDaniel Gonzalez for The New York Times

The bedrooms of Mr. Baltimore’s 1970s house are on the lower level. CreditDaniel Gonzalez for The New York Times

“It’s like the dog that chases the car and actually catches it,” Mr. Zak said. “It’s still not cheap, but it was fair and it was in move-in condition.” They have since installed a new kitchen, painted and brought in new rugs.

In the shifting luxury real estate market, the highest priced homes are taking longer to sell, said Laura Brady, the president and founder of Concierge Auctions, in Manhattan. The company’s Luxury Homes Index report, released earlier this month, noted that the 10 most expensive homes sold in the Hamptons last year had an average sale price of $24,079,286, and spent an average of 706.7 days on the market. Luxury homes that lingered on the market tended to go for less, selling at discounts of nearly 40 percent after six months, Ms. Brady said.

In Montauk, the 20-acre oceanfront estate that belongs to Dick Cavett, the former talk show host, has been on the market for two years. The 7,000-square-foot, six-bedroom, four-bathroom house, which was listed for $62 million in June 2017, was designed by McKim, Mead & White in the 1880s and rebuilt in 1997 after a fire, using “forensic architecture techniques” to replicate the original house with a wraparound porch and a bell tower, said Gary DePersia, an associate broker with Corcoran. The price dropped to $48.5 million last August, then Mr. DePersia re-listed it in February, for $33.95 million.

“They are motivated sellers,” Mr. DePersia said. “Where are you going to get 20 acres with 900 feet of oceanfront and utter privacy with a historic house for that kind of money in the Hamptons? You are not.”

According to a first quarter report from Bespoke Real Estate, which deals exclusively with $10 million-plus properties, 122 homes priced over $10 million were on the market at the end of March, with 13 between $30 and $40 million.

Most $10 million-plus buyers already have a home in the Hamptons, said Zachary Vichinsky, a principal at Bespoke Real Estate, and have spent “in some cases the better part of two years exploring the market and defining what works best for them,” whether that means upgrading or building a new home closer to the water.

“There is a lack of urgency on their part, in a lot of cases, but the special inventory continues to move pretty quickly,” Mr. Vichinsky said.

In 2018, a total of 41 homes sold for $10 million or more in areas that brokers refer to as the “alpha market,” which includes East Hampton, Southampton, Water Mill, Bridgehampton, Sagaponack and Wainscott.

But there was one bright spot in the market overall: homes listed for $500,000 to $1 million. That sector of the market accounted for 34 percent of sales in the first quarter, according to a report from Brown Harris Stevens.Mr. Baltimore affectionately refers to his hexagonal house as “the hive.”CreditDaniel Gonzalez for The New York Times

Mr. Baltimore affectionately refers to his hexagonal house as “the hive.”CreditDaniel Gonzalez for The New York Times

Last November, after renting a “shack on the bay” in Sag Harbor for nine years, Keith Baltimore, an interior designer with offices in Manhattan, Port Washington, N.Y., and Boca Raton, Fla., paid $900,000 for a “quirky and campy” 1970s contemporary house with an upside-down floor plan, a circular great room with a skylight, and a pool, on an acre in Water Mill. The house was originally listed for $1.15 million.

“There were so many houses on the market, it felt like a full-time job looking at what’s out there, doing due diligence,” said Mr. Baltimore, 55, who spent weekends for a year and a half house shopping.

From Westhampton to Montauk, about 1,900 homes are available for $2 million or less, including about 900 under $1 million and 160 for around $500,000, said Mr. O’Connor, the Halstead agent.

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Housing starts fall year over year | Katonah Real Estate

US Housing Starts Rise Above Forecast

Housing starts in the US rose 5.7 percent from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,235 thousand units in April 2019, more than an expected 1,205 thousand and following a revised 1.7 percent advance in March. 

Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, rose 6.2 percent to a rate of 854 thousand units in April and starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment advanced 4.7 percent to a rate of 381 thousand units. Increases in housing starts were recorded in the Northeast (84.6 percent to 144 thousand) and Midwest (42 percent to 186 thousand), while declines were seen in the South (-5.7 percent to 581 thousand) and West (-5.5 percent to 324 thousand). Starts for March were revised to 1,168 thousand from 1,139 thousand.

Building permits were up 0.6 percent to a rate of 1,296 thousand units in April, while markets had expected a 0.5 percent gain. Permits for the volatile multi-family housing segment increased 8.9 percent to 514 thousand, while single-family authorizations fell 4.2 percent to 782 thousand. Across regions, permits were higher in the West (5.3 percent to 339 thousand) and Midwest (2.2 percent to 188 thousand), but dropped in the Northeast (-4 percent to 120 thousand) and South (-1.2 percent to 649 thousand).

Year-on-year, housing starts dropped 2.5 percent and building permits decreased 5 percent.

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https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/housing-starts

Builder confidence up | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose three points to 66 in May, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builder sentiment is at its highest level since October 2018 after declines in late 2018 due to higher interest rates and concerns over slower growth. Builders are catching up after a wet winter and many characterize sales as solid, driven by improved demand and ongoing low overall supply. However, affordability challenges persist.

Mortgage rates are hovering just above 4 percent following a challenging fourth quarter of 2018 when they peaked near 5 percent. This lower-interest rate environment, along with ongoing job growth and rising wages, is contributing to a gradual improvement in the marketplace. At the same time, builders continue to deal with ongoing labor and lot shortages and rising material costs that are holding back supply and harming affordability.

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All the HMI indices posted gains in May. The index measuring current sales conditions rose three points to 72, the component gauging expectations in the next six months edged one point higher to 72 and the metric charting buyer traffic moved up two points to 49.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast posted a six-point gain to 57, the West increased two points to 71, the Midwest gained one point to 54, and the South rose a single point to 68.

The HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi.

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HUD plans to end public housing aid for illegal immigrants | Bedford Real Estate

HUD building

Approximately 55,000 children could be evicted from public housing if the Department of Housing and Urban Development goes through with a proposed plan to end public housing aid for undocumented immigrants, HUD revealed in a report on the rule change’s potential impact.

Last month, HUD proposed a rule that would make undocumented immigrants ineligible for public housing aid and force them to relocate within 18 months.

The rule proposes the use of the Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program, or SAVE program, to verify the citizenship of all members living in a household that receives assistance.

Under HUD’s current rules, families are allowed to live together in subsidized housing even if one family member is ineligible as long the ineligible person declares themselves as as such. The housing subsidy is then prorated to exclude the ineligible person from the assistance.

But HUD’s new rules closes that “loophole.”

HUD officially proposed changed those rules Friday, publishing the text of the rule in the Federal Register.

As part of the rulemaking process, HUD also issued a report on the potential impact of the rule change.

According to the report , the Trump administration plan to pull public housing aid could lead the removal of 55,000 children from public housing, putting them at risk of homelessness.

Overall, as many as 25,000 households would be affected by the rule change. According to HUD’s report, the vast majority of the potentially affected households (72%) come from three states – California (37%), Texas (23%), and New York (12%).

Beyond the direct impact on those households, who would be forced to find another place to live within 18 months, the rule change could also have the opposite effect of what the Trump administration claimed when initially floating the proposal.

“Thanks to @realDonaldTrump’s leadership, we are putting America’s most vulnerable first. Our nation faces affordable housing challenges and hundreds of thousands of citizens are waiting for many years on waitlists to get housing assistance,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson tweeted when the public housing rule change was initially reported.

The idea, according to Carson, is to make more housing available to American citizens.

“We have a long list of people we can only serve right now one in four of the people who are looking for assistance from the government,” Carson told Fox Business on Thursday. “So obviously we want to get those people taken care of. And we also want to abide by the laws.”

But according to HUD’s own analysis of the proposed rule changes, the move could actually lead to less public housing aid being available because the “American” households replacing the “mixed” households make less money than the families they’d be replacing and would, therefore, require more housing assistance.

From the HUD report:

“An additional transfer of the rule results from the replacement households requiring a higher subsidy than the mixed households. This would occur because the households that replace mixed families, on average, have less income and would receive higher per household subsidies.”

The impact of that would lead to an increase of HUD’s budget of between $193 million and $227 million, meaning it would cost taxpayers as much as $227 million more to give public housing aid to the replacement households.

Another “likelier” scenario would be HUD choosing to serve those replacement households without additional resources or pulling money from other HUD programs.

But according to the HUD report, “perhaps the likeliest scenario” would be HUD reducing the quantity and quality of subsidized housing because of the higher costs, meaning there would less subsidized housing available in the first place and the ones that remained would be lower quality than before.

“With part of the budget being redirected to cover the increase in subsidy, there could be fewer households served under the housing choice vouchers program; while for public housing, this would have an impact on the quality of service, e.g., maintenance of the units and possibly deterioration of the units that could lead to vacancy,” HUD said in the report.

So instead of making more public housing available to those on the waiting list, the proposal could lead to the exact opposite happening.

From HUD’s report:

However, it is unlikely that this transfer would occur in the form of increased subsidies from taxpayers to the replacement households. Housing assistance is not an entitlement and the federal budget for housing is not expected to increase because of this rule. Instead, it is likely that the higher per household subsidies would be paid for by reducing average spending on housing assistance for all households. or reducing the number of households served. The number and quality of public housing units likely could decline as could any additional resident services provided by housing authorities.

Beyond all of that, Diane Yentel, the president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition suggests that the “true motivation” of HUD’s rule changes is to instill fear into undocumented immigrants.

“HUD expects the fear of being separated would lead to a prompt evacuation by most mixed-status families, whether or not that fear is justified,” HUD states in a section on the report on the expected responses from the impacted households.

“The cruelty of Secretary Carson’s proposal is breathtaking, and the harm it would inflict on children, families and communities is severe,” Yentel said Friday in a statement. “Tens of thousands of deeply poor kids, mostly U.S. citizens, could be evicted and made homeless by this proposal, and – by HUD’s own admission – there would be zero benefit to families on waiting lists. This proposal is another in a long line of attempts by the administration to instill fear in immigrants throughout the country. We will not stand for it.”

Yentel was joined by more than two dozen housing, faith, civil rights, social justice, and immigration groups in denouncing the proposed rule changes.

HUD itself notes that there are less costly alternatives to the proposed rule change.

From the report:

The first alternative regulatory action would be to grandfather all of the existing mixed- families and apply the provisions of this proposed rule to new admissions only. The alternative would better target housing assistance. Gradually mixed-households would be replaced. For example, with a turnover rate of 10 percent, the number of mixed households would be halved within seven years. Such an option would fulfill the objectives of the rule but would limit the transition costs. A second would be to limit the denial of housing assistance to households for which the leaseholder is ineligible. There are approximately 17,000 households with ineligible noncitizen household heads who will be affected by this proposed rule and would no longer be the leaseholders. This would reduce the number of households affected from 25,000 to 17,000. Such an alternative would likely limit the adverse impact of the transition on eligible children.

According to HUD, the current average wait time for public housing assistance is more than two years.

To read the full HUD report on the impact of the rule change, click here.

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https://www.housingwire.com/articles/49017-hud-plan-to-end-public-housing-aid-for-undocumented-immigrants-could-lead-to-evictions-of-55000-children

Deer on your lawn | Pound Ridge Real Estate

One professor calls it a “hidden threat”: Bloodsucking ticks that carry an array of diseases hitch rides on deer as the mammals multiply across the country, popping up in forests, parks and even our front lawns. 

That probably means ticks in more places than ever in the USA in 2019, said Thomas Mather, a University of Rhode Island entomologist known as “The Tick Guy.” And that could mean more Americans are at risk from tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease.

“The phenomena of deer in more places and in ever-increasing proximity to people is, I think, the largest factor affecting the ticks-in-more-places trend,” said Mather, who calls springtime “almost a perfect storm” for ticks.

Mather runs Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Index, which monitors tick populations based on data from volunteers across the country. The continental USA is listed for “high” activity through May 15 except for three states: California, Oregon and Washington.

Mather traced the uptick primarily to that “hidden threat” of deer moving closer and closer to where we live. He pointed to his son, a Boston suburbanite who sees deer in his tree-lined neighborhood.

America’s deer population boomed over the past century, from dwindling numbers in 1900 to an about 33.5 million in 2017 – a population larger than Texas.

“The more commonly you see deer in your area, the more likely it is you’re going to see ticks,” Mather said.

A deer grazes on the lawn of the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Wash., Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016.

A deer grazes on the lawn of the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Wash., Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. (Photo: Michael Lopez, AP)

Lyme disease could hit 2 million mark next year

Black-legged ticks, or deer ticks, have “pretty strong” numbers in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Upper Midwest, said Mather, who’s heard from volunteers in the region.

Black-legged ticks that carry Lyme disease “are far and away most responsible for tick-borne diseases,” he said.

Tick-borne disease cases more than doubled from 2004 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Lyme disease accounted for 82% of all cases.

Next year, the number of people with tick-borne Lyme disease could hit almost 2 million nationwide, scientists said in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Public Health.

The disease’s symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and skin rashes, the CDC said, but untreated infections can spread to the heart, joints and the nervous system.M

It’s not just black-legged ticks: Lone Star ticks and Gulf Coast ticks carrying less common diseases are on the move in certain regions, Mather said.

“And these types of ticks all have one thing in common: They utilize whitetail deer as a blood source in some part of their life cycle,” he said.

The black-legged tick, also known as a deer tick, can carry Lyme disease.

The black-legged tick, also known as a deer tick, can carry Lyme disease. (

America’s booming deer population can be traced to fewer predators, fewer hunters, hunting regulations and new spaces – think lush parks and suburban landscapes – that let deer thrive, said Anthony DeNicola, president of White Buffalo, a Connecticut-based nonprofit group dispatched to cull deer herds everywhere from tony suburbs to all of Staten Island. 

Efforts to manage deer have been too little, too late, DeNicola said, and quiet residential areas have let deer become comfortable, shedding ticks near people’s doorsteps.

“You’re shoveling against the tide,” he said.

What’s needed is a paradigm change, DeNicola said, for Americans to view deer less like majestic Bambis and more like health threats that spread diseases.

“We have the tools to kill deer, but you have to train the hunter to not think as a recreationalist but as a manager,” he said. 

How to avoid ticks – in your yard and on your body

Here are tips on how to avoid ticks (and the deer that bring them) on your property and on your person, according to the University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Resource Center: 

  • Keep out deer, which bring ticks to your yard, and mice, by which ticks become infected. Clean and clear spaces around sheds, woodpiles and any other enclosed areas where mice might like to hide, and consider deer-resistant plants, a deer fence and deer repellent sprays.
     
  • Tick-repellent clothing is the best (and simplest) way to prevent bites. Such clothing can be purchased, or DIY methods for clothes already owned can be used. If you don’t have tick-repellent clothing, tucking pants into socks is one way to keep ticks out.
     
  • If you’ve been outside, check for ticks in the places they prefer: armpits, backs of knees, waistbands and other tight, constricted spaces. Check everywhere: Attached ticks don’t wash off during a shower.
     
  • If you do spot a tick: Remove it with tweezers, grasping close to the skin and pulling steadily upward to keep from breaking the tick. Disinfect the skin area with rubbing alcohol.

read more…

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2019/05/07/deer-multiply-us-carrying-ticks-lyme-disease-and-more/1126591001/

US inventory of homes for sale flat | Bedford Corners Real Estate

home tops

The U.S. inventory of homes for sale was flat in the first quarter, compared with a year earlier, the first time since 2016 there wasn’t a decline, according to a Trulia report.

Inventory increased in 50 of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, up from just 19 areas one year ago. Starter-home supply rose 3.5% year-over-year – the fastest annual growth rate observed in more than 6 years – while the number of luxury homes on the market fell 4.5%, the report said.

The increase likely is being driven by homes lingering on the market as high prices put them beyond the reach of first-time buyers, according to the report. About 54% of homes for sale were in the starter- or trade-up-home segments – in other words, the first few rungs of the housing ladder.

“The markets with the greatest growth in inventory are also markets where prices have rapidly risen to notoriously high levels and supply has been severely constrained over the past few years,” the report said. “This rapid appreciation has caused affordability to deteriorate more quickly in these areas, and the nascent rise in inventory may actually reflect an exhaustion of demand in these communities, more than it reflects a greater number of sellers listing their homes.”

The 10 markets with the largest gains in inventory are also among the nation’s most-expensive housing markets, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego.

“Even in these markets, dramatic increases in inventory – especially among starter homes – have yet to stem the tide of declining affordability,” the report said.

Nationally, there were 273,282 newly-listed homes on the market during the first quarter, down 6.9% from the 293,481 in the year-earlier period. In other words, inventory growth was driven by homes that were listed in prior quarters.

“Inventory growth seems to be driven more by ebbing demand rather than an infusion of new supply,” the report concluded.

The first quarter data may be representing the tail-end of a housing slump caused by November’s eight-year high in mortgage rates that since then have fallen.

At the end of March, the U.S. average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage had the largest one-week decline in more than 10 years, dropping to 4.06%, according to Freddie Mac. Since then, it has bounced around in a narrow band, and this week averaged 4.1%.

In March, pending home sales increased 3.8% as the cheaper financing costs brought more buyers into the market, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Last week, an index measuring mortgage home-purchase applications rose 5% from a week earlier and was 5% higher than the year-ago week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“We saw a good week for the spring home buying season,” MBA’s Joel Kan said in the report released on Wednesday.

read more…

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/49016-home-inventory-was-flat-in-q1-as-listings-lingered-on-market?utm_campaign=Newsletter%20-%20HousingWire%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=72568506&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-97eI9f6irq-W5MGvRfv6pGqLdxmtWsaZHZ1d3KCG5Z8W-kyLXGD9f6NZHPyQVHvikIecdIzyzC7XnPn0J3HZuHXQtV8A&_hsmi=72568506

Americans favor owning over renting | Chappaqua Real Estate

close up neighborhood houses

With a homeownership rate of 64.2%, it’s safe to say the American dream of homeownership is alive and well. However, lackluster growth in the sector suggests the market might be turning, especially as affordability remains a top concern.

In a recent analysis, LendingTree surveyed 2,095 American homeowners aged 22 and older about their perceptions of owning a property versus renting.

According to the company’s study, 67% of American homeowners believe owning a home is a better option than renting. However, LendingTree discovered that for many American homeowners, renting is still a viable option.

“About 15% of homeowners believe renting is easier than owning a home, and another 18% are neutral on the topic,” LendingTree writes. “Just 13% of homeowners across all ages wish they could go back to renting, but when broken down by age, 1 out of every 5 homeowners ages 22 to 37 say they miss renting.”

Interestingly, LendingTree says this breakdown is highly dependent on the number of years a homeowner has lived in their home.

“In most cases, the longer that survey respondents have been in their homes, the more likely they are to believe owning is easier,” LendingTree writes. “That changes for those who have owned for a decade or longer. Nearly 72% of homeowners who have spent seven to nine years in their home agree with the statement, compared with 65% of those with at least 10 years in their home.”

Additionally, the report found that age also plays a major role in homeowner satisfaction.

According to the study, 23% of Gen Xers claimed to be dissatisfied with their home purchases, this was followed by 21% of Millennials who expressed the same sentiment.

When it came to Baby Boomers and those aged 73 and older, LendingTree reports that only 14% and 3% held the same regrets, respectively.

Overall, the study revealed that homeownership tenure is a tremendous indication of whether or not a person is likely to return to the rental market. 

“Our survey found that the longer you own your home, the less likely you’ll want to rent again,” LendingTree writes. “Only 7% of respondents who have owned their home for at least 10 years wish they could go back to renting, compared with 19% of those who have owned for three years or less.”

The image below highlights the percentage of Americans who wish to return to renting after owning a home:

(Click to enlarge

LendingTree: Return to Renting

Note: LendingTree commissioned Qualtrics to collect the responses of 2,095 American homeowners aged 22 and older from the dates of March 22-27, 2019.

read more…

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/48981-americans-still-favor-owning-over-renting-but-for-how-long?utm_campaign=Newsletter%20-%20HousingWire%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=72449673&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_wf5nhkg1FFSaVfcLLsDAq-vSfamUsKWH6fYQFizfFvEM3FO4rbfwKPtMxpuPxnlua16i-cB9BPHu8neekjPxwT8280A&_hsmi=72449673